A strange white cube stands among the lagoons and trees in the London Wetland Centre at Barnes. It’s the result of an international design competition, won by two architecture students, Jorgen Tandberg from Oslo and Yo Murata from Tokyo. As well as stylish, it’s highly practical from a bat’s point of view. The internal layers of wood sheets offer cosy roosting sites suitable for a variety of species: eight of Britain’s 17 native bat species have been recorded in the reserve. The material is Hemcrete – a mixture of hemp and lime that’s breathable and absorbs CO2. It’s hoped that the box will be an inspiration for architects, showing that art and consideration for nature can go together. The inauguration of the bat house will celebrate the centenary of the birth of naturalist and wildlife artist Sir Peter Scott.